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Scheduling the US Open Cup

The first round of Qualification/Play-in matches have been announced, except for the small detail concerning the Sounders v Real Salt Lake. Today we are going to take a look at possible dates for the Sounders v Real, and if Seattle can host Round One.

First the current schedule

emFirst Round Play in Bracket/em

<em>First Round Play in Bracket</em>

Winning this in year one would be amazing, and would qualify Seattle for the CONCACAF Champions League.

What we know from the other three dates is that they are in April, they are all in an MLS stadium and in 2 of 3 cases they are at the "lower" seeded team's site.

In April Seattle has ZERO weeks totally off.
In April RSL has 3 home games, one is on Thursday and then they have a 10 day break until another home game.
RSL has the first week off and then OPENS their season in Seattle on March 28th.

I see three dates that makes sense for Seattle to host - March 28th as a "dual" match that is a league match and qualifier. MLS has done this ONCE before.

The week prior to the Home Match against Kansas City would be an OK schedule, though it would have Seattle after a trip to Toronto. It could make some sense on Wednesday the 8th. This date would be a 6 days after RSL's first home match and 3 days prior to their second.

The Week after the KC match would seem to make the most sense, as it would be after a home match and prior to a West Coast trip down to LA. This would have the least stress on the Rave Green travel plans. Wed the 15th would force RSL to travel to Seattle and then New York. So while better for Seattle this seems less likely.

There of course is a chance that RSL decides that they want to host the first round, but Adrian Hanauer and company want to be in the CCL ASAP, and the best way to do that in year one is to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as it is just a run of 6 knockout rounds for Seattle, rather than the 30 game season, and 4 game playoffs.

Host it and we will come